Assuming you already understand that a decent niche is the key to paying your bills, it’s time to move on to discussing niche development. There are four main aspects you must consider when developing or refining your niche. These include your skills, your passion, your target market, and your competitors.
FREE WORKSHEET: Develop your niche, step-by-step
1. Your skills.
If you’re a passionate person, you may be wondering why skills come before passion. After all, a successful niche is based more on passion, especially in spiritual-related niches that dwell more on life experience and storytelling–not exactly ironclad or technical skills.
Well, I say to you that you should look at your skills FIRST and then narrow yourself down further by your passion. Because, if you work in relation to your skillset, odds are that you don’t always enjoy what you’re doing. There’s a lot of crappy stuff that comes along with even work you’re good at.
Listing your skills allows you to determine the broadest scope of your niche: the industry that best fits your knowledge, skills, and experience.
2. Your passion.
Here’s where we narrow things down by throwing out what you dislike and holding on to what you do like.
For example, let’s say, as time goes on, you find yourself enjoying one-on-one training sessions with Clients, whereas you remain reluctant to get started on those weekly and monthly tasks that your Clients are depending on you for.
Maybe education is your passion. So, therefore, it’s time to narrow the scope of your niche. You could start offering courses, conducting webinars, broadcasting podcasts, and so forth. Find the medium of educating others that appeals to you, and results in a decent conversion rate!
3. Your target market.
Who are the clients you acquire? Which ones are most likely to refer you to their friends and colleagues? What do they need? What problems of theirs do you often end up solving?
The above questions are ideal for someone already active in their field. If this is you, these questions will help you further narrow down your niche to a more profitable range of scope.
However, if you’re just getting started, ask yourself: Who do I want to help? What problems do they have? How can I solve one or more of those problems? Are they likely to pay me? How can I persuade them to hire me?
As many successful entrepreneurs suggest, you might as well dive into freelancing and roll with it. Things often turn out better when you let your niche work itself out, based on who hires you and what you enjoy doing.
4. Your competition.
Now it’s time to do some serious research and note-taking.
Has your desired niche already been snagged by too many other freelancers? Well, it would be ideal to create a niche all your own–to be number ONE in YOUR industry, of course. However, this is not always possible.
Especially in the case of bloggers, there aren’t many unique niches left to choose from. The Internet is overrun by so much information that it’s hard for even Google to sift through. (Why else must the ranking factors be so complex?)
Don’t worry–all is not lost.
My all-time favorite marketing book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, compares many real-life, large-scale marketing campaigns that either succeeded big time or failed big time. The reasons often come down to this: know it and own it. One of the “laws” of marketing include the fact that you have to accept your position in the industry and OWN it. Yeah, so what if you’re number two? You may not be number one, but you offer budget options…or, you’re more down to earth…or, you’re more family-friendly….Get the picture?
That’s why, when comparing yourself to the competitor in your niche, sub-niche, and sub-sub-niche, it’s best to ask yourself: How am I different? Is there a leftover problem that this competitor isn’t solving for my target market?
Don’t forget to download your FREE WORKSHEET for a full walk-through of niche development.